Originally Posted by kaldaniels
Are those stats any different when you trim the sample down to just include save situations entering the ninth? I doubt it will differ much but I don't know.
Actually, we need to throw out the "save situation" stat altogether. It's beyond meaningless to this discussion.
The only stat that has any bearing on the value of closers is performance in high leverage situations (I think that's what you were getting at). "Save situations" are bloated with pitching to the bottom of the order with a three run lead type situations. Take those out, and average closers Save % is probably closer to 50%.
I agree that most good relievers can post 85% save results, given the current definition of a save, and how that has affected how closers are used. However, if used properly, in mostly high leverage situations, there are only a handful of pitchers who can handle a true closers role, and their value is significant.
Btw, using league averages in this discussion is even more meaningless. Anyone who has taken Logic 101 knows that nothing, not a single thing, can be concluded from those stats. Many other posters have detailed why already, but I just wanted to emphasis it. Poz really looks like clown on this one.